Parent visa caps unchanged but includes a bite of 125 visas for permanent retirement visas; queues set to grow

A new legislative instrument setting the maximum number of parent visas to be granted this program year (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019) was been released this week.

The numbers to be granted have remained unchanged, with non-contributory parent visas (Subclass 103 – Parent visas, and Subclass 804 – Aged parent visas) capped at 1500.

Other family visas (Subclass 114 and Subclass 838 – Aged Dependent Relative visas, Subclass 115 and Subclass 835 – Remaining Relative visas, and Subclass 116 and Subclass 836 – Carer visas) are capped at 500.

Lastly, the cap of 7175 is for:

  • Subclass 173 – Contributory Parent (Temporary) visas,

  • Subclass 143 – Contributory Parent visas,

  • Subclass 884 – Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visas, and

  • Subclass 864 – Contributory Aged Parent visas.

However, there is one major difference between this year’s numbers and last. Since permanent retirement visas were introduced in November 2018 and must be made by applying for a 143 visa, of the 7175 contributory parent visas, 125 of those have been allocated to permanent retirement visas.

As previously reported, last year was the first year in memory a limit was set for the number of contributory parent visas to be granted in a program year. Capping them was most likely because of an increase in the number of applications made. When non-contributory parent visas take around 30 years to process because of even more aggressive limits, no doubt sponsors and their parents have sought the more expensive path for faster processing.

This theory is supported by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request made last year disclosing the number of yet to be processed (on hand) parent visa applications approaching 100,000, with contributory parent visas constituting 86 per cent of all parent visas lodged from 1 July 2018 to 31 October 2018!

Assuming the number of applications lodged remained steady throughout the year and that every application was to be approved (while some applications are obviously refused or withdrawn, it would not make sense for anyone to lodge an application for these purposes), the contributory parent visa queue appears to be growing as there would be roughly 3500 applications lodged more than what would be processed this year. The non-contributory parent visa queue would also grow but only slightly in comparison, around 200 additional applications over the cap.